Water is an insidious enemy of any roof, commercial roofs included – whether caused by the prolonged exposure to snow or by an excessively rainy fall or spring, water damage can be difficult to detect before it manifests in the form of leaks and costly to repair. Fortunately, the owners and managers of commercial buildings can do a lot to prevent water damage – here are some tips.
Understand Water Damage
There are many signs that can indicate water damage on your roof – while leaks are the most obvious of these signs, excessive dampness inside your building and the appearance of mold and mildew are also alarming signs. Water has a way of weakening almost any material and it can also penetrate through the tiniest hole or through almost invisible hairline cracks. It also has a way to cause any hole or crack in your roof to grow very quickly and to turn into a large issue that is harder and expensive to remedy.
Understand Your Roof
Roofs, especially commercial roofs are durable structures, made from sturdy materials, but like any construction, roofs also have their weak points. Most commercial roofs being flat structures, they do not shed water as efficiently as pitched roofs – if they are not helped by a suitably designed and maintained drainage system, the water coming from rain and from melted snow might stay on the roof, weakening it. The roof areas that are especially sensitive to the prolonged exposure to water include the areas where two roof components are joined, at the seams and around the flashing that surrounds the chimneys and other openings.
How to Prevent Water Damage on Your Commercial Roof
A respected commercial roofing contractor Kansas City MO expert says that the best way to prevent water damage is through roof maintenance. Ideally, your commercial roof, along with the gutters and the downspouts that ensure its drainage, should be inspected and cleaned by a professional roofer two times per year, once in spring and once in fall. Each of the maintenance sessions has the purpose of revealing any faults that could quickly aggravate and to prevent moisture damage by removing any debris from the roof surface and from the drainage system that might hold in moisture and cause clogging. If the roof inspection reveals any damage, the next step is to address the issue right away.
Another great way to prevent water damage on your commercial roof is to treat the roof with a water-proofing coating. There are many different types of coating products available for sealing off the surface of your roof. The most common and most affordable solutions include acrylic, silicone and polyurethane coatings, all three being easy to apply and resistant, able to prolong the leak-free operation of your commercial roofs by years. The reapplication interval is different for each roof coating product – some need to be reapplied every 2-3 years, other need to be refreshed every 8 years or so. Some coatings are also available in tinted forms, so they can be used not only for protecting your roof from water damage, but also for refreshing its appearance as well.